Saturday, September 10, 2011

Garlic 2011 - Update I - Doing Something About Garlic "Breadth"

In our last blog post on our 2011 garlic, we had harvested our first small batch; and I tried my hand at braiding it (which turned out to be very "trying"). Well, since then, we have harvested the remainder of the crop, which we did back in May; and we wanted to share a little more of the garlic processing process.

Here is Dave pulling the garlic plants from the beds and placing them in a big box:

Harvesting Garlic


Wow! Our first garlic crop! It sure smelled good:

Harvested Garlic Plants in A Box


This time we did a bit more research before diving into it, which paid off. We laid out all of the bulbs in the indirect sun for a few days on our makeshift food dryer:

Garlic Plants Laid Out to Dry


Here is a closer look:

Garlic Plants Laid Out To Dry


Then we moved it all into our summer kitchen in preparation to be braided and hung:

Dried Garlic Plants


I was successful at braiding the larger garlic plants; but as I got to smaller ones, the leaves were just too dry and difficult to braid and handle. So I started gathering them into bunches and tying them at the top. I actually like this method better; and it works just as well, in my opinion. I then hung them on my garlic hanging stand (aka: clothes dryer). I was pleased with the end result:

Hanging Garlic Plants


There ended up being many other small bulbs that either lost their leaves or fell off in the process. So I gathered them up and placed them in a small basket. I keep the basket in my kitchen, and it's perfect for grabbing as many garlic cloves as I need at any given time. And the garlic smells and tastes wonderful!

Basket of Small Garlic Bulbs


Due to the extreme drought we have been experiencing, this is the only garden harvest the Lord allowed us to have this Spring and Summer (in addition to a few tomato plants on which the jury is still out). We are very thankful to God for the gift of this garlic crop and look forward to possibly spreading our garlic "breadth" in the future. :)

Susan

7 comments:

ChrisW said...

Thanks Susan for sharing. We are just SE of you in Liberty Hill, TX; and we've had no measurable rain since early spring (which makes all aspects of farming tough). BUT, this is all according to His plan, and we seek to learn from it and take comfort in that.

May our great God continue to bless you and David,

Your brother in Christ,
Chris

onbigturtlecreek said...

Susan, I agree. Braiding garlic is over-rated. We didn't plant any last fall but your post reminds me it's time to put in next year's crop. Have you tried pickling garlic? It retains the medicinal properties, yet mellows it so that it's *really* easy to eat. I nursed David through an episode of swine flu (government tested and approved LOL)here in our 216 sq. ft. cabin in 2009 and I blessedly didn't catch it myself. I believe that the 3 or 4 cloves of pickled garlic I ate daily contributed to my immune health. Long story short I dump the peeled cloves in cider vinegar with salt and honey to taste. They'll last through all but the worst heat.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hello Mr. Chris,

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our blog and comment. It is encouraging to know there are others out there trying to live submitted to God's sovereignty and learning from all He brings our way. May God bless and keep you and yours.

Onbigturtlecreek! Thank you so much for your pickled garlic info! I've been trying to figure out a way to eat raw garlic without hating it. Did you have any big problems with garlic coming out your pores causing "social" issues? And is there a time frame they should be left to pickle? I imagine it may be several days like any fermentation process. Thanks again!!

Susan

onbigturtlecreek said...

Susan, David comments if I eat too much of it, but he likes garlic so I usually just suggest he eat some as well or I cook something garlicky. He likes his pickled with no honey and habanero peppers. Often, the bulbs will turn blue early in the pickling process. When they turn white (maybe 2 to 4 weeks) they're fine to eat.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Dear Onbigturtlecreek,

Thanks so much for the info! I plan to try that to get more garlic into my system. Much appreciated!

Susan

Anonymous said...

Nice garlic harvest. Thanks for sharing the pics and ideas for drying/storage.

So you don't like garlic, Susan? It's interesting how herbs and some foods are not tasty to some and others love them. All God's work to create us as individuals. Pray pickling helps you better like the garlic. We both love and use alot of garlic here. Now I need to grow it like you have! Plan to this fall yet, after I clean up my garden space of it's semi-frosted plants.

Beth

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Beth!

Thanks for your comment! I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I actually like garlic very much in food but was trying to find a way to get much more in my system to bolster my immune system when needed. So the pickling idea sounds like it will do just that!

Thanks again, Beth, and we always appreciate your prayers.

May God bless and keep you.

Susan